Seeing a post on “Facebook” from Liam Messam about his adoption, made me start to think about what it was like for me as a young teenager who gave her child away.
I came from a very caring Catholic family. When I was 17, I met a young man and began a relationship, which soon progressed. After 6 months I discovered I was pregnant.
After breaking the news to our parents, we made the decision to give the child up for adoption. I wasn’t ready to be a parent and neither was my boyfriend.
After leaving school, I then went to polytechnic where I began a course. My parents got in touch with “The Home of Compassion” run by Catholic nuns (who had couples waiting to adopt on their books) – they would handle the handover of our baby. We also went through social welfare to look at prospective parents. We chose a couple who had not been able to have children.
As time went on, I became very nervous about the inevitable, but I had the support of my family, friends and people from church. Not long before I was due, I was given the opportunity to meet our son’s new parents – a good thing for me and them. So my parents and I travelled to the “Home” to meet them with me. I took a letter I had written to my son. I explained why we made the biggest decision we had ever made to give him up and how we felt he deserved a better life than we could give him.
When baby arrived it was a very stressful time. I was very blessed to have wonderful nursing staff that allowed me to spend a bit of time with baby until it was time to leave. Of course this was so hard, but I always felt that this baby belonged to someone else – and I know this was how I coped.
The parents I chose agreed to send updates and photos via the “Home” which we just drooled over. It was sad, but it was so important to us.
As the years went by, my boyfriend and I stayed together, moved to Australia – returned to NZ to get married – and 8 years after the birth of our son, we were blessed with another son, then another and another – full brothers.
When our first son was 11, we were asked if we would like to meet him. Of course the answer was YES! This meeting was the start of a relationship that continues to this day. Our son began to come and stay a weekend, then a week, then as often as he could. He met his birth great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, full brothers, and extended family. He was embraced by us all.
Four year ago our son married a lovely young lady. At the wedding service, I was asked to read a scripture, and we were seated with his adopted parents at the front of the venue. We were thanked by our son for “getting the ball rolling” so to speak. The day after the wedding our sons adoptive mother (who we have a close relationship with) thanked me for her son, and said she and her husband, were so grateful for the way our family had become theirs. We both cried and agreed we had something very special. We gave our son to two people that had longed to have a child of their own for so long, and our gift enabled this to happen. He has had a wonderful life, with parents who have treasured him so dearly. And now - we are sharing 2 little girls – our grandchildren – who have 3 sets of grandparents.
So, if anyone were to ask me – was it the right decision 32 years ago – my answer would be YES.
I had time to grow as a person, experience life and become a wife, and thank God – become a mother again – when I was ready. And not to mention – bless two people with the greatest gift – a child.